Posted on: July 16, 2023, 12:37h.
Last updated on: July 16, 2023, 12:37h.
Data confirm that in Europe, there is an increasing number of women participating in sports wagering, particularly in women’s athletic competitions.
This information comes from a recently published study conducted by the German Sports University Cologne. The study, titled “Breaking Barriers: Assessing Women’s Sports, Betting, and Integrity Challenges,” was commissioned by European gaming giants Entain, Flutter Entertainment, and Stats Perform, along with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and the All-In Diversity Project (AIDP). It is the first study to analyze the women’s sports wagering market and its susceptibility to match-fixing.
Entain owns half of BetMGM, while Flutter controls 95% of FanDuel, the largest online sportsbook operator in the US.
The study confirms that the number of people betting on women’s sports, particularly in soccer, has been rapidly growing. The annual market growth rate for women’s soccer is approximately 20% since 2020, followed by tennis, basketball, and cricket, which have growth rates of over 10% during the period 2017-2022.
These findings contradict studies in the US that suggest sportsbook operators are struggling to attract female bettors.
Anticipating Increased Female Betting
The release of the study coincided with the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The tournament is set to begin on Thursday, featuring four matches. The US Women’s National Team (USWNT) is favored to win at +225 (bet $100 to win $225).
IBIA CEO Khalid Ali stated, “We are about to witness the best attended and most watched women’s World Cup in history, and where soccer leads, other women’s sports are rapidly following. The dramatic growth of women’s sports is a hugely positive development – for fans, the sports and athletes themselves, and also for the betting market.”
It is yet to be determined if domestic sportsbooks will experience an increase in betting activity due to the Women’s World Cup and whether female bettors will drive this potential growth. The event is receiving significant promotion from mainstream sports media, and the USWNT is popular among American fans, including bettors.
Basketball’s Role in the US Market
As mentioned earlier, the study examined betting growth in soccer, tennis, basketball, cricket, and volleyball. This has implications for female participation in the US sports wagering market, as World Cups are not held annually.
Additionally, cricket and volleyball are not as popular among US bettors. With Serena Williams retired and her sister Venus in the latter stages of her career, there may be a temporary void in American women’s tennis, which could potentially lower interest in betting on the sport.
Therefore, college basketball and the WNBA are the most viable options for US sportsbooks looking to attract a wider range of female bettors.